Ombre Kesar Peda: Peda dressed up for Diwali 🙂
Kesar Peda is a milk fudge dessert with saffron flavor made in India in a variety of different ways, using a variety of different ingredients. In this particular version, I have used Ricotta cheese and the pedas turn out extremely soft, fresh and the sweetness is just right. I have experimented this over a dozen times to perfect this recipe. This is the Ombre version of the same recipe to give a new look to the dessert.
Per wikipedia, Ombré /ˈɒmbreɪ/ (literally “shaded” in French) is the gradual blending of one color hue to another, usually moving tints and shades from light to dark.
Kesar peda has been one of my favorite desserts to make as it is loved by all. The freshness of it is heart-warming. The Ombre version is the one I made last Diwali – Diwali 2017. I made this for Bay Area Vaishnav Parivar Annakut. Feel very fortunate and blessed that I was able to make and offer Kesar peda for the Diwali Govardhan Puja Annakut, at the Bay Area Vaishnav Parivar Temple. Thanks to Mom and BayVP for the opportunity (: Blogging about these pedas only a year late, right in time for Diwali 2018.
The recipe is the same as my previous version. Adding the steps to make the Ombre kesar peda version.
- 32 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 2 cups Milk powder (also called Dry milk)
- 4 tablespoons Condensed milk
- 4 tablespoons Ghee
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
- 2 tablespoons Pistachios, finely chopped
- 3-4 drops Rose water (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Milk
- a pinch Saffron (Kesar)
- a pinch Orange/Yello food color (optional)
Warm 2 tablespoons of milk, and soak a pinch of saffron, keeping some aside for garnish later. Keep aside. Please note that the saffron needs to be soaked for at least an hour. In case it has not been done, the Peda wouldn’t have the desired yellow/saffron color.
Heat ghee in a in a vessel. Non-stick vessel is highly preferred. Keep the flame on medium throughout the cooking process.
Add ricotta cheese and stir. Make sure you constantly stir the cheese, such that it doesn’t stick to the vessel. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates.
Add sugar. The quantity of sugar I have mentioned gives medium sweetness. If you want it more on the sweeter side, use more sugar, as desired.
Make sure you are continuously stirring the ingredients.
Add the condensed milk as well as milk powder and cook until the moisture starts leaving the sides of the vessel. This should take about 20 minutes. Do not overcook, or it might become dry. The mixture will become bit stiffer once it cools down. So make a judgement call as to when to stop cooking it further. Turn off the heat. Add cardamom powder and rose water, mix well.
Let the mixture cool down a bit. Then divide the mixture into 3 portions. This step is for giving it the Ombre shades. Keep one portion as is, which would be white in color.
Either add a pinch of yellow/orange color or 1/3 of the soaked saffron color in the second portion.
Add double the pinch of yellow/orange color or 2/3 of the soaked saffron color in the third portion.
Basically, the three portions should be distinctly different in colors to give the ombre effect. You can accomplish that either by just using saffron mixture or by adding food color. I used both. If using food color, also do use the saffron mixture in the second and 3rd portion for incorporating the saffron flavor in pedas.
The way you make pedas is, apply ghee to your palms, and knead the 3 portions individually like a dough to make it really smooth. Make it into desired sized balls, flatten the balls a bit and apply chopped pistachio on top of each. Press it a bit, for the pistachio powder to set. Garnish with the remaining saffron. Arrange it in lighter to darker shade to give the ombre effect on a platter.
Enjoy it warm, or put it in refrigerator for a bit before eating to enjoy it cold.
More info about Pedas from this wiki page:
Peda (pronounced [ˈpeːɽaː]) or Pera is a sweet from the Indian subcontinent, usually prepared in thick, semi-soft pieces. The main ingredients are khoa, sugar and traditional flavorings, including cardamom seeds, pistachio nuts and saffron. The colour varies from a creamy white to a caramel colour. The word peda is also generically used to mean a sphere of any doughy substance, such as flour or khoa. Variant spellings and names for the dessert include pedha, penda (in Gujarati) and pera.
Pendas originated in the city of Mathura in present-day Uttar Pradesh. The Mathura Peda is the characteristic variety from the city. From Uttar Pradesh, the peda spread to many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Thakur Ram Ratan Singh of Lucknow, who migrated to Dharwad (in present-day Karnataka) in the 1850s, introduced pedas there. This distinct variety is now famous as the Dharwad pedha. Kandi Peda from Satara in Maharashtra is another variety of peda.
As with laddoos, pedas are sometimes used as prasadam in religious services.